Sunday, July 19, 2009

Summer Clearance

Have you noticed? Summer's over.

It ended about two weeks ago, at least as far as most stores are concerned. Time to blow out those needless bathing suits, beach towels and flip-flops.

Never mind the fact that here in the High Desert, we're in the midst of the year's first full-blown heat wave. 109 degrees? Must be a figment of our imagination.

I know, it's a well-worn rant. Still, why is it that stores can only stand to have current seasonal merchandise for about two weeks before they usher in the next season? It must work out all right for the retailers, or they wouldn't do it. But really, who buys this stuff? I've seen Valentine candy for sale the day after Christmas. Christmas decorations on display right across from the Halloween aisle. And of course, right now, fall is busting out all over.

I'll admit to a sneaking fondness for this one, however. In Southern California, where summer looms hot and long, it's nice to look forward to the promise of snuggling up indoors. A time when warmth is something to be enjoyed, instead of a blazing sun to cower from. Fall is the season of home and hearth -- of scented candles, pumpkins and rust-colored pillows.

But when they bring in those pastel shades the first week of January, I want to smack someone.

Maybe we all have a built-in resistance to living in the present. We like looking forward to what's around the next corner. When we're not doing that, we're being nostalgic. Just turn on the radio and notice how many of the songs are oldies.

What's the answer to this perversity? Do we embrace the summer heat? Or give in and start stocking up on sweaters?

Me, I'm hiding indoors with the air conditioning.